In 2002 a parent called me and suggested that I should call my website, "Finding Waldo." She explained that after looking for an hour or so, that the Plebes all looked alike. I thought the phrase was quite apt.  I knew it had "caught on" when the Commandant's son was a member of the Plebe class. During a meeting with the parents he explained how every night he would sit at the computer and, just like them, look for his "Waldo."

With that in mind, try to find your son in the photograph below.

It is impossible.

All The Same G FInalAll The Same G FInal

FYI, the photograph above is a "photoshopped" photograph. All the faces are exactly the same. So the question is, with so many photographs, how do I find my son/daughter.

First and foremost, we have "grouped" the photographs. When you purchase access, you will receive access only to your son/daughter's platoon. This means you do not have to figure out which galleries to view.

Second, each photographed has a file name, with date, platoon #, name of evolution--and then an arbitrary number. When you have all your files downloaded, you will know everything about the photograph you need to know.

Third, the photo galleries are in chronological order, with the latest gallery at the top of the list of galleries. Just check our website every other day to see if there is a new gallery. 

I can certainly find my son/daughter.

I have known him for some 20 years.

An anecdote or two might help here.

A) One quite anxious mother, missing her son the moment he marched through the big bronze doors. The next day, at home, she quickly found a photograph on my website of her son. She had it printed, took it to a frame shop and paid big bucks to frame it. She them placed it in her bedroom and every morning when she got up, went to the photograph and hugged it. It was only then that she could make it through the day.

Her son finally came home for Thanksgiving. She took him into her bedroom and showed him the photograph, proudly framed. Her son turned to her and very gently said, "Mom, that is not me." Well the mother responded, "Don't tell me that. It has been you for seven weeks and will continue to be you." The son smiled.

This story was told to me by the mother. 

B) It was Parents' Weekend. Another mother stood at the entrance to Tecumseh Court where she and her son had prearranged to meet after he was released for the weekend. He put on his summer whites for the first time, a uniform his mother had never seen, and then walked by her just to see what would happen. She did not recognize him. After a second he tapped his mother on the shoulder and gave his mother a hug. Mom hesitated after the hug and then said, "I thought you were coming out of Bancroft. He said, "I did. I walked right past you and you did not recognize me." This was told to me by the mother.

There are tricks. 

This is what parents have told us.

Trick #1) Don't look for your son/daughter. Look for a person very easy to find that always seems right next to your Plebe. Usually someone very tall, or someone with red hair.
Trick #2) Look in the same place. When in a group the Plebes usually line up in the same place in the group. Look in that general area. This does not always work as the formations are constantly changing.

Trick #3) Get help. "Finding Waldo" is fun. it is entertainment at night. It relieves the anxiety you may have of not seeing your son/daughter all the time.

Some possible "volunteers" are siblings, grandparents, and even girl/boyfriends.

Trick #4) Pay someone. Sounds a little "not right" but I have heard of several parents who pay a younger sibling fifty cents for every photograph they find of their brother/sister.

Can Not Find Waldo?

I am little hesitant to tell you this, but it is possible "Waldo" just was just not there at the evolution. When you can not find "Waldo," there are several reasons. He/she is:

1) In SQ, or Sick Quarters.

2) "Wounded." The Naval Academy uses military terms, or slang, for everything. This is one of them. "Wounded" simply means your son/daughter has a sprained ankle, or something else that make is impossible to participate ion an event.

3) "Hacked." Getting the "Hack' occurs every summer. It is simple a cough  that starts the third week in a platoon. When you have the "hack," last summer you had to wear a mask--and could not participate.

4) Actually at the event, but is not allowed to participate because of a "chit." The "chit" is written and it simply states that for the reason on the chit that the Plebe can not participate in an event. The chit may say that he/she can participate but only in certain situations. An "ankle chit" means the Plebe can not participate in any event in which the ankle is used. BTW, the Plebes hate the chits. They would rather be with their squad mates, especially if it is exciting evolution such as the Obstacle Course.